The course aims to help practitioners and policy-makers develop and implement Big Data innovation projects, policies, and partnerships in support of sustainable development objectives. Through a blend of teaching formats, including traditional instructor-led teaching, keynote speakers, and interactive and hands-on technical sessions, participants will learn the foundations of Big Data in the context of sustainable development and explore how to engage with Big Data in their daily work and life. The broader and longer term objective is incentivising and enabling participants to contribute to a people-centered Big Data revolution - i.e. shape and leverage emerging Big Data ecosystem in ways that reflect and foster social progress and citizen empowerment across the globe, especially those of poor and vulnerable segments of societies. 



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Heightened awareness of and interest in the main applications and implications of the most recent debates and advances in Big Data and sustainable development;
  • An increased understanding and capacity to actively and constructively engage in and with Big Data in their work;
  • Motivation and ability to create partnerships with various stakeholders within and outside of their organisation to develop effective, sustainable solutions using Big data sources and methodologies;
  • Skills to help apply course lessons and key concepts towards policy implementation and project development through session activities and adaptation of the Big Data and sustainable development course toolkit.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

Through guided activities and interactive project labs, participants will have the opportunity to design data-driven sustainable development projects and discuss the implications and impact of Big Data projects for the SDGs.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Day 1: Contexts and Concepts: Understanding the foundations of the Big Data for development ecosystem.
  • Day 2: Methods and Tools: Identifying Big Data methods and tools to translate sustainable development challenges to specific data questions.
  • Day 3: Design and Strategy: Operationalising Big Data partnerships and policies by engaging stakeholders and communities through ethical practices and effective storytelling.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

The course is open to UN and Non-UN participants with an interest in Big Data and sustainable development-related issues and innovation. The course is designed primarily to the needs of project management professionals and staff with introductory to intermediate skills in statistics and economics. 

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course is offered at a fee of 1,750 USD per participant, covering the following:

  • Three days of training with a balance of presentations, full group and small group work on case studies and exercises;
  • Exclusive access to online resources on Big Data and Development;
  • All course materials, resources and contacts.

In addition, thanks to the generous support of the Hewlett Foundation and in order to promote inclusive and multi-stakeholder participation, Data-Pop Alliance offers Fellowships covering the costs of the course to selected professionals from institutions in the public sector, civil society, and academia. If you meet this qualification, letters of interest in the course and what you hope to gain are welcome to

All participants are expected to cover all travel and accommodation expenses associated with the course. Certificates of Attendance from the UN System Staff College and Data-Pop Alliance will be awarded to participants who complete the course.

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